Monday, August 9, 2010

A few best of 2010 thus far

Friday evening I went to dinner at a local hamburger joint with family members, most of whom are appalled by my admitted interest in sports, and one who seems to think it is what it is (because it is). While we dined, several soundless television sets were on, each showing a different program. One had a sports-themed show and I glanced at it only once but its topic gave me considerable pause. It was a top-ten-thus-far-or-maybe-it-was-top-ten-for-2009-but-it-was-nevertheless-a-top-ten list of things in sports.

I enjoy some talking about sports but as my headline says, I know nothing of sports. I have given some thought to this, however, and have "Southwest Corner's Top Few for 2010 thus far that I can recall."

The Stanley Cup on its way to the rally
1. The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. Then they took the Stanley Cup everywhere -- bars, restaurants, the Crosstown Classic between the Cubs and Sox, Gay Pride Parade, to name just a few. The Hawks brought such magic with them that I willingly went with my supervisor to stand on the street and smile and wave when they went from the United Center to the rally at Wacker and Michigan. Thinking about the whole thing still makes me smile.

2. LeBron James switches teams. This is a classic tale of defection, disappointment, greed, and conceit. I am glad the Bulls didn't get him. There isn't enough room in Illinois for his ego and that of Rod Blagojevich, former governor, even if Rod goes to prison. No offense to Miami fans, but I hope the Heat get knocked to the curb. I hope the Cavs kick major booty but that the Bulls ultimately beat everyone.

3. Tiger Woods gets some. The man believed he was the greatest and that he could betray his wife and family and fans and act like a jerk and stick it wherever it could be stuck and that there would be no consequences. You really can't, sir, because it will suck the mojo out of your game, you lose focus, and people will think you are nothing but a megadouche with little regard for anyone other than yourself and that personal porno you were starring in between your ears. It also turns you into entertainment news, which is not news at all.

4. Vuvuzelas and FIFA Soccer. Which of Satan's demons came up with the vuvuzela? Toots aside, I learned a lot about soccer during the games, mostly from an online friend who answers all my questions with great patience. I've decided why soccer isn't as popular here: the networks and cable channels will have none of that not-breaking-for-commericals stuff. Soccer goes without stopping. No commercial breaks means not as much sponsor dough. It also made me wonder if the American attention span is that long. Maybe not, but it could be trained.

5. Southwest Corner's Toughness Rating. Soccer players race up and down the field -- hundreds of yards -- nonstop for 45 minutes, then another 45, then some overtime. Hockey players race up and down on skates wearing pads and helmets and are constantly getting slammed into the wall and/or head first onto the ice and then they get up and do it some more. Football players hold lines and maybe run a bit. So here is my toughness rating: Soccer (for cardiovascular superiority) and hockey (for cardivascular toughness and strength) tie for first and football is after that because compared to soccer and hockey, football is a tickle party. There are other sports but those are powerpuff rallies featuring pillow fights. Okay, boxing. Fine. Very, very, very tough. Not a tickle party. Promise you won't hit me. I rerate: 1. BOXING. 2. SOCCER and HOCKEY. 3. FOOTBALL. 4. Most everything else.

6. Tom Izzo stays at Michigan State. Go right through for MSU. Go green; go white. I tangentially know about this as an MSU alum. In four years of college and another two of living in the East Lansing area, I attended zero basketball games and two football games. I attended a bunch of hockey games as my roommates had season tickets. We were so into it we drove to Ann Arbor to see U of M play MSU. On that occasion, U of M won (results are not typical). So when I say tangentially, that's pretty true. See? Here? I twirled off on a tangent.

This concludes my few for 2010. I swear on a stack of MSU hockey game programs that I will pay better attention for the remainder of the year. Or not.


  1. On item 5... don't forget mixed martial arts. You don't want to get punched by them either. Or rugby...those are some tough dudes.

    Secondly, while taking a beating is a much more integral part of hockey than football (yes, I mean football and not "throwball"), at least hockey players wear padding. Take the following random videos as evidence (remember that there are metal cleats on the bottom of those shoes):

    sample one

    sample two

  2. Anonymous - thanks for the comments and for those jarring vids! They certainly confirm that American football ("throwball" -- hahahaha!) is just a big tickle party with puff pastry treats, French manicures, and champagne cocktails.